from 1 reviews
There is no other facility in Utila, Honduras or elsewhere in Central America that has such a combination of experience, commitment and enthusiasm and we aim to provide our divers and students with more than just diver education and that is what makes our team so successful. We are on the cutting edge of training and conservation and set the standard for so many dive operations and professionals in the region.
In the last few years we have received countless awards from PADI for our training programs and in 2004 we were voted No 1 Dive Facility worldwide for entry level training by PADI Americas.
Our PADI Course Directors (Instructor Trainers) have received countless Certificates of Excellence for their Instructor Training Programs and hold the Platinum status ratings. In 2006, the 'Divers Alert Network' (DAN) rewarded our Instructor trainers for their commitment to promoting safe diving and from 2006 - 2009 we also received the PADI Project Aware Environmental Achievement Award.
In 2011 and 2010, we were awarded the best PADI IDC center worldwide by Sport Diver and the Instructor Development award by PADI Americas.
Our PADI internship programs are ideal for divers who wish to GoPro and train to become PADI Divemasters or Instructors in our immersion environment, and gain experience assisting on PADI recreational courses and specialty diver training.
We offer intensive internships for Open Water to Divemaster in 8 weeks and as part of our Divemaster internships all candidates partake in the Project Aware Coral Watch program and learn about identifying diseased corals and recording data for the University of Queensland.
For certified divers we also offer training to Instructor in 8 weeks. If you are a complete beginner and wish to train to Instructor we also have 6 month beginner to Instructor programs. Utila is the ideal destination to gain experience whilst interning, unlimited diving, great conditions with coral reefs and Whale sharks, and very affordable living with a fun and social lifestyle.
Located in a calm residential area of town, the Mango Inn is within walking distance of all amenities and beaches, and a few minutes away from Utila Dive Centre. Nestled in a beautiful tropical garden, around our pool, all our rooms and cabins have the comfort you expect to make your stay as enjoyable as possible after a day of diving.
Utila being the whale shark capital of the Caribbean, an encounter with the biggest fish in the ocean can always be expected, and it will make your stay with Utila Dive Center - Mango Inn, a vacation to remember. Escape the crowds, and dive Utila.
PADI 5 Star Instructor Development Dive Resort
Utila Dive Center – Mango Inn
18th July 2009 by MRMinSF
No hesitation to return and dive with them again
Visit Date: August 2008
My overall impression is positive, and I wouldn't bother researching other dive centers if I were to return to Utila.
Overall I was impressed with this shop: plenty of instructors-in-training meant that my basic and advanced Open Water courses were nearly one-on-one. This was where I learned to dive, so every subsequent dive center I've visited has been evaluated against the UDC standard. I have felt in every situation that I was well-trained and equipped here. My main instructor, Johann, is a Honduran native and highly enthusiastic about both the sport and the creatures (not to mention Honduran soccer/football).
The rental equipment was standard and adequate (although I immediately appreciated my friend's advice to buy my own well-fitting mask before going to get trained). The relatively high volume of people coming and going meant that there was sometimes a bit of rigamarole and delay picking up and returning gear, but my instructors were always behind the counter with my gear ready-to-go by the time I got there. Loved the snack-shop. Boats were basic but well maintained and equipped.
The paperwork/bureaucracy end of things was (I would later learn) typical of many shops, not terribly efficient or straightforward. Oddly I received no less than three PADI Open Water cards due to some glitch in someone's system.
While most dives were eminently enjoyable and safely operated, one in particular did not go well: too many people were queued up to pass through a U-shaped passage (the "Airport Tunnel") and when someone at the front of the group panicked/stalled 1/2 way through, a long line of us were stuck in a narrow channel with no easy way to retreat. The crowd size also contributed to rapidly diminishing viz. The Dive Masters/guides running this dive should have managed the group size/pacing/sequencing and logistics better to prevent such a pileup. I look back on it as a good experience since it gave me a very healthy dose of reality regarding confined spaces; however I wish the staff had debriefed us a little more forthrightly about the situation post-dive...
As with every Dive Center I have since visited, I do wish that there were an even more aggressive push to educate divers about current ecological issues and to proactively engage divers - regardless of experience - in improving their conservation awareness and habits. During courses at UDC, it was not uncommon to see coral strikes from wayward fins attached to students flailing about (and yes, I might have been one of them). I think instructors would do well to firmly scold divers who inflict coral or environmental damage - even accidentally - to establish at the earliest stages of diving experience, that all marine life is delicate and demands an extremely high level of care and attention. Scuba divers are uniquely situated to help the public understand and care about the increasing problems faced by underwater ecosystems, and that mission begins with personal commitment to the highest standards of enviro protection during diving excursions.
For the record, we stayed at the affiliated Mango Inn, a 10-15 minute stroll from the Dive Center. Some might argue the distance was an inconvenience, but I appreciated the excuse to wander cross-town and meet locals along the way. Everyone in our group loved the place (we stayed in their cabin/cottages; not sure how the apartments stack up by comparison). It's a small thing, but the fact that water was supplied in a 5-gallon dispenser was greatly appreciated: it meant we could refill our own bottles regularly without contributing to plastic waste on this small isolated island.